Now that I've got your attention...
Not long ago, I met some old school mates IRL. To familiar and mostly male groans of sorrow and frustration, one of the women, I'll call her Divya, reminded us of the bra flinging story. When the groans died down, she turned on me. Insisted I write it up.
"You're the writer," she said.
Sure I'm the writer, bosom pal of mine! But considering I wasn't actually present when it happened, nor was I doing any of the flinging - though I must say, "Excuse me, would you mind if I flung your bra?" would be an excellent pick up line - it seems to me I'm hardly qualified to tell the story. Still, Divya made me promise. So I have no choice but to take on the onerous task of telling the possibly soon-to-be-famous Bombay International School Class of '74 Bra Flinging Story (TM).
(Of course by now I know many of you are saying: "The hell with the bra flinging stuff, pal, what's IRL?" That's "In Real Life", for you pitiful non-computer-wonks. Get a life, won't you?) (Then again, blog-readers are likely pretty good computer-wonks. Sorry).
My always supportive wife tells me that when Divya first told us the story, two or three years ago, I spent several days in depression. The flinging happened in my father's childhood home in Bombay, and not only was I not actually right there for the signal event, I didn't even know it happened. I could cry. Really. I did. Really.
So. Class trip, about 1973. This was one of the usually annual events when the lot of us went somewhere nearby for a weekend, then spent most of it playing variations on hide-and-seek. (Don't snort, this is true). This time, we went to the then-almost-rural suburb of Versova, the rambling house near the beach where my father grew up and an uncle and aunt still lived.
Relevant here is that 1973 was about the time puberty began changing the shape of our class. If you get my drift and I know you do.
One night in their room, the girls sat down for a vital life lesson. One that would serve them for the breast part of, sorry the best part of, the breast of, sorry the rest of, their lives. One of the girls, I'll call her Nita, was chosen to impart the lesson. Why Nita, not that I have the least doubts about her performance on the job that night, has never been explained to me. But I suspect it had to do with her earlier-than-most encounter, not lost on us males, with puberty.
And what was this lesson? How to remove a bra from one's person without first removing outer garment(s) from that selfsame person. That is, how to achieve such removal on one's own. Because we're not talking here about external personages effecting the said removals. That vital life lesson was left, we presumed and daydreamed about, for another day.
Anyway, Nita explained the intricate procedure in great detail. Anyone who has tried such a removal, as these young ladies did then, knows just how delicate a maneuver it is. So when the girls finally mastered it, in their joy and relief they all flung their (removed) bras about the room. That night, the Versova air was filled with the sensual aroma of fish, the salty scent of the sea breeze, no doubt many buzzing bloodthirsty mosquitoes.
And a dozen or more bras.
To think all this happened within a stone's throw, or a bra's throw, of fifteen clumps of raging hormones posing as boys. Some were asleep in the next room. Others were outside, playing hide-and-seek by flashlight. All were adolescently unaware that rather more exciting events were taking place practically under their noses. Unaware that by merely opening a particular door, they could have instantly fulfilled every boy's fondest dream. To be thunked in the face by a bra.
And my wife wonders why, when I found out all this over a quarter century later, I spent days sunk in depression.
So there you are. The Bra Flinging Story. I assure you it has not, not even slightly, been padded.